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Using and Buying Double Boilers for Candle Making

Sally Painter
Melting wax in a double boiler

Candle making uses a double boiler to make it easier to create your own homemade candles. If you don't have a double boiler to melt the wax for your candles, there are a few things to consider before buying one.

What Is a Double Boiler?

A double boiler is a kitchen tool that is made from two fitted saucepans. The larger bottom saucepan is filled with simmering or boiling water, while the top saucepan is used to melt chocolate or cook custards.

Why a Double Boiler for Candle Making Is Useful

Whether you're making pillar candles or votive candles, a double boiler is a useful candle making tool because it keeps the boiling water at a low, steady temperature. This helps to keep your wax from scorching or solidifying between projects.

Tips for Using a Double Boiler

A few tips can help you get the most out of using a double boiler for candle making. One very valuable tip, especially if you've never used a double boiler, is to place a few marbles in the bottom pan during your first project. If your water level gets too low, the marbles will start to rattle to remind you to check on your wax.

  • You only need about two inches of water in the bottom pan.
  • When you set the top pan into the double boiler, make sure the pan doesn't touch the water.
  • You don't need to have your water rapidly boiling to melt the wax. Keep the water simmering for best results.
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your wax before continuing with your project.

Buying Guide for Double Boilers for Candle Making

If you don't have access to a double boiler, you can make a simple substitute with a large saucepan and a bowl. You can also try using two saucepans that are separated with a trivet. However, if you are serious about making homemade candles, a double boiler is an essential piece of candle making equipment.

  • When buying candle making double boilers, you'll want to use the same criteria you'd used to select a double boiler used for cooking.
  • Look for a high-quality pan that can withstand regular use.
  • Double boilers can be purchased wherever kitchen items are sold.

Shopping Suggestions

If you prefer to shop online, you can also buy candle making double boilers from the following websites:

  • Amazon.com features a 1.5-quart Granite Ware double boiler for around $17 with free shipping with Prime membership.
  • Walmart presents a 2-quart stainless steel double boiler for about $34 with free shipping on order $35+.
  • Target features a 3-quart Range Kleen double boiler steamer insert set for around $44 with free shipping.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond offers a SALT® 2-quart stainless steel double boiler for around $30 (member price about $24) plus free shipping for orders over $39.

Double Boiler Safety for Melting Wax for Candles

A double boiler makes candle making safer by reducing the risk of accidentally causing a fire. Heating your wax directly on a burner can cause it to get hot too quickly, which is a significant safety hazard. Melting wax in your microwave is even more dangerous.

Pouring melted wax into glass holders with wood wicks

Safety Tips for Melting Wax for Candles

Safety should be a top priority for any candle maker. A few safety tips for working with candle wax and melting wax for candles can prevent accidents, ensure you don't start a fire, contaminate food or ruin your candle making process.

  • It's best to have a double boiler that is used exclusively for melting wax for candles making. This will prevent you from having to worry about contaminating your food with wax or chemicals.
  • Never leave a double boiler unattended. If your wax reaches its flash point, it will produce vapors that are extremely flammable.
  • If you accidentally set your wax on fire, remember that a candle making fire should be treated the same way as a grease fire. Using water to try to put out the flames will only make the fire worse.

Melting Wax for Candles Using a Double Boiler

Consider how much wax you need to melt at one time to determine the best quart size for your double boiler. You'll discover how easy it is to melt wax for your candle making with a double boiler.

Using and Buying Double Boilers for Candle Making